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Firstly, I should correct the date I gave in my comment above.

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The date of 1955 shown in the heading is thus only half correct. Originally, the first five bodies were of B26D dual doorway layout, but this was quickly changed to B36D, which is the form in which the later ones, 250 – 255, first appeared.

Nos 244 – 249 were withdrawn in 1963, and the remaining five had their bodies altered to B39F form in 1964, though, strangely, 254 and 255 were withdrawn from service in that same year. More pictures of these buses may be found on the OBP Southampton gallery.

The David Brown box proved to have reliability problems, and when Jaguar bought the Guy company, the indestructible Guy constant mesh gearbox replaced the troublesome David Brown unit in the CCG5/6 models, which, like the Arab V, were available from 1962. It has a Park Royal body and, in the first view it has been renumbered to 903 for duty with the Council’s Welfare Department. This second view shows it restored to its original fleet number, 255, in the yard at Portswood for an open day. Southampton had twelve of these Guy Arab UF buses, the chassis of which were purchased in 1952.

The first six, 244 – 249, were bodied immediately, but the others did not receive bodywork until 1955.

Yes, Guy did take the Arab off the market, convinced that the Wulfrunian would conquer in its place.

In 1960 the Guy company collapsed and Jaguar took over the Wolverhampton business.

The supremely elegant H31/26R Park Royal body style with the deeper saloon windows is essentially similar to those being delivered to East Kent on tin fronted Arab IVs at that time, and it amply illustrates the catastrophic collapse in design standards from the sublime to the ridiculous that subsequently afflicted that formerly respected coachbuilder.

Apart from a delivery of five Leyland PD2/40 in 1958, Exeter stayed with the Arab until 1960, when Guy, besotted with its new wonder Wulfrunian, withdrew the Arab from the market.

Among my milder teenage dislikes were tin fronts, Orion bodies and (almost) all-over red liveries, but none of these three features detracts from the magnificence of this vehicle.

The matchless reliability of this model and its sound-effects obviously also play a big part in its appeal.

What a pity, though, that none of the Park Royals survived.

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